Easy empathy

“Is this going to go on like this?” he asked, with no emotion in his voice. I did not respond. It was dark and thus he could not see my eyes shouting “I will beat you up right here right now.”

It was a four-minute video I just had finished shooting with my two artist cousins, right there in the middle of the living room, where he was asking the question from. It was for a song my father had composed for a non-profit project. We shot it in several hours with amateurs’ enthusiasm, using very primitive material, edited it with the best of our capacity and were watching it for the first time. We had to make it in one take and our “actress”, unpredictable as she was, did a great job (I returned her back to the pet store after the shooting. She was possibly scared, but alive and well).

Unfortunately, we had to watch it with him, who had just dropped by to see one of my cousins. Why could he not just shut up for four minutes? Maybe he had a point, but I was in love with my creation. I feel he should have respected that love affair.

It is some kind of an owner’s curse. You see more pros than cons in your creation, whereas other people, including competitors and most of the time friends, do the opposite. It happens when an original idea is shared. I believe people often comment with good intentions but the way they do it makes the whole difference. I remember once a friend of my father’s, upon listening to one of his recordings, said: “Elton John would have played this better.” And well, he was probably right. But seriously, come on!

At that precise moment I recall looking at my father. He had the same look in his eyes as I had when the guy asked how long our video would go on like that.

A little empathy goes a long way.

Here is that video we shot to the song “in the morning of a day.”

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